February 2020 Accessibility Updates


Accessibility Heroes

Tip of the Month

Trainings & Workshops

Events & Resources


February 18, 2020

This month we welcome the newest member of the accessibility team, Kara Franco, to Yale. Kara joins the Digital Accessibility Team as a Web Accessibility Engineer. She is interested in working on accessibility in educational spaces and creating enjoyable web experiences. When she is not geeking out about accessibility, she loves weaving, gardening, listening to jazz, and playing board games. Kara arrives from a prior position as an Accessibility Engineer at Finalsite, an educational software company in Glastonbury, CT, where she helped implement and build accessibility solutions for Finalsites’s educational partners. We’re very excited to have her on our team and welcome the expertise she brings.

We also want to draw attention to our new monthly Accessibility Office Hours, to be held on central campus once a month (or more often, if demand requires it). This is your chance to pop in and meet with Sarah Lynch (Accessibility Engineer) and Michelle Morgan (Digital Accessibility Specialist) for one-on-one assistance on any accessibility work you’re struggling with or to get guidance on topics you want to know more about. See the Training section below for information about these hours.


Accessibility Heroes

Want to nominate someone (including yourself) as an Accessibility Hero? Email Michelle Morgan for inclusion in our next update.


Sarah Lagasse, Marketing Coordinator SOMEDU Executive Education

After attending the Social Media Accessibility workshop, Sarah took it upon herself to investigate accessibility features in Hootesuite and shared her findings with the Digital Accessibility Team. Her work will be incorporated into future offerings of the training and in the online guidance offered by the team.

Faculty/Graduate Students:

Lizzy Berk and Ethan Timmins-Schiffman, Anthropology TAs for Professor Lisa Messeri’s  Anthropology of Outer Space

Lizzy and Ethan, at the request of Professor Messeri, reached out to the Digital Accessibility Team for guidance on making their course readings more accessible.


YaleSites Team, Web Tech, ITS

The YaleSites Team made significant updates to several Yale websites to ensure an accessible experience for users.

Tip of the Month

Is your website accessible?

You may already know that a quick accessibility check that can help you determine the accessibility of your website is to navigate it using nothing but your keyboard. Another easy way is to Zoom in and out to ensure that your web elements do not disappear. On a PC, you can Zoom in and out by holding down the CTRL key and the + or – keys; on a Mac, hold down the Command key and the + or – keys.

Trainings & Workshops

Review our trainings online

Many of our trainings and workshops are also available as screencast and captioned videos on YouTube. While we strongly recommend attending a training in person, where you can ask clarifying questions and receive personalized advice, recordings of our trainings are a good resource. Use them when you need to remind yourself how to do certain things, share them with colleagues when suggesting accessibility improvements they can make, and refer to them as needed if it’s been a while since you’ve gone through a workshop.

Digital Accessibility Office Hours *NEW*

  • Wednesday March 11, 11:00 am-12:00 pm at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Rm 116A
  • Wednesday April 8, 1:30-2:30 pm at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Rm 116A

Have a question about digital accessibility? Want a person to show you what you need to do in real time? Visit our monthly office hours to get hands-on assistance with your websites, your documents, your social media, communications, and more. Learn how to use Siteimprove, or get a manual check on that flier you’re about to send to the printer. Let us refresh your memory on making your PDFs screen-readable. You get the idea.

No appointment necessary, just stop by!

Web Accessibility Training for Content Editors

This two-hour workshop is designed to train staff who input content into websites how to do so in ways that meet Yale’s Web Accessibility Policy. Note: This workshop is primarily for people who create content through tools such as Wordpress or YaleSites Drupal. Visual designers and developers who program websites using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript can reach out to accessibility@yale.edu for more information on training targeted to their needs.


  • Explain the roles and responsibilities for content editors in improving the accessibility of Yale’s digital campus
  • Teach best practice for creating and editing content to be accessible
  • Share resources available to assist content editors in maintaining accessible web content

Accessible Word Documents, PowerPoint Presentations and PDFs: Basics

This beginner’s document accessibility workshop is designed to train staff in the basic methods used for making Word documents, PowerPoint Presentations, and PDFs digitally accessible, for inclusion on university websites or for university-related business, including teaching, student services, and other administrative support. It is appropriate for anyone interested in learning how to make documents used in everyday university business more accessible and will cover the fundamentals of document creation and remediation. This training does not require a computer, but attendees are encouraged to bring laptops if possible.

Developer’s Lunch-and-Learn: Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) using Gitlab Pipelines

Yale ITS believes that learning accessibility and front-end best practices should be an ongoing, permanent process of training and skills development. To support developers‘ continuing education, the Digital Accessibility Team is hosting monthly brown-bags where developers can bring their lunches and learn something about accessibility that they can begin implementing right away.

Captioning Your Media @ Yale: Options and Basics

Have media you need to caption, but unsure what your responsibilities are for captioning under Yale’s Accessibility Policy, where to begin, or what options are available? This two-hour training covers paid options for captioning your media through our Preferred Captioning Vendors 3Play Media and Rev.com, as well as free options, like YouTube. Attendees will leave understanding their obligations under Yale’s policy, the differences between the major captioning file types, and how to create, edit, and sync captions to their media for both Canvas courses and websites.

Social Media Accessibility: Basics

If you add content to your websites, chances are you’re also responsible for managing social media for your department or unit. Social media platforms like YouTube/Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can present unique challenges for users with disabilities, many of which are beyond your control.  

In this training you’ll learn not only how to use the accessibility features that are available on these platforms, but also valuable work-arounds to counter those that are not. Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or smart phone to the session, along with a piece of content—a video, tweet, or photo–you’d like to make accessible on social media (you can use a personal account if you don’t have access to Yale accounts on personal devices). We will spend the first half of the training going through the basics of social media accessibility and the second half creating accessible content ourselves.

Events & Resources

Have an event you’d like us to feature or a resource to share? Email Michelle Morgan michelle.morgan@yale.edu for inclusion in our next update.


DAY (DiversAbility at Yale) Steering Committee Meeting

First Thursday of each month

12-1 pm

221 Whitney Ave Conference Rm 612

Please join the monthly DAY Steering Committee meetings. The meetings are an opportunity to hear what’s been happening with DAY and what is in the works. We welcome all those who are interested in getting involved and sharing their ideas. Lunch will be provided. Register by sending an email to day@yale.edu. Zoom is available if you cannot attend the meeting in person.


Pixels v. Relative Units

Resources and an article from 24 Accessibility that details why the debate between using CSS static vs relative units is still relevant.

Designing for Autism and Anxiety

As professionals who care about accessibility, we’re probably used to thinking about how the products we create work for people with disabilities like blindness/low vision, Deaf/HoH, and manual disabilities. Designing for mental health and neurodivergence is just as important! The UK Home Office has published a series of posters will tips for designing for people with autism and anxiety, among other disabilities.

Dyslexia Fonts

Confused about fonts and accessibility? You’re not alone. Choosing a font that is readable is particularly challenging if you’re concerned that people with dyslexia will not be able to read your text. While claims about the utility of dyslexic fonts are common, there has been little research testing their claims. This article from AIGA Eye on Design Magazine outlines the history of fonts designed for dyslexia and provides links to the existing research.